Body camera footage set to be released in tasing death of Atlanta deacon Johnny Hollman


(ATLANTA) — The Fulton County District Attorney’s office is expected to release body camera footage this week that shows the incident that led to the tasing death of Johnny Hollman, the 62-year-old Atlanta deacon who died on Aug. 10 after he was shocked with a stun gun by an Atlanta police officer during a traffic stop.

In a statement released on Monday, the DA’s office said that it determined that the “video may be released without negatively affecting the investigation” and that the footage would be made available to media outlets “who file an open records request with the office.”

The DA’s office did not provide an exact date for the release of the video, but Mawuli Davis, an attorney who represents the Hollman family, told ABC News on Tuesday that the family expects the video to be released on Wednesday.

Hollman’s family has been calling for the release of the body camera footage for months amid a joint investigation into the incident by the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating the incident.

“Whatever happened, they killed my daddy,” Hollman’s daughter, Arnitra Hollman, told ABC News’ Linsey Davis in an interview that aired in August.

Arnitra Hollman said that she was on the phone with her father during his interaction with the police officer and claimed that the officer was “aggressive” with her father and she later heard him say, “I can’t breathe.”

“When I got to the scene, my daddy was already dead,” she said.

What we know about Atlanta man Johnny Hollman’s death at hands of police
“My dad has chronic asthma he’s had ever since he was a child. If he tells you he can’t breathe, you have to stop whatever you’re doing,” she added.

An autopsy conducted by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office lists Hollman’s manner of death as “homicide.” The report, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News, lists “Cardiac dysrhythmia due to use of conducted energy device in association with hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” as the cause of death.

A spokesperson for GBI told ABC News on Tuesday, “The GBI investigation is complete and has been given to the Fulton County DA’s Office for next steps.”

According to a release from the Atlanta Police Department, an Atlanta police officer arrived at the scene of a minor traffic accident on Aug. 10 at around 11:20 p.m. where he determined that Hollman was “at-fault” and issued him a traffic citation. Hollman refused to sign the citation, an arrestable offense at the time of the incident, according to APD.

“The driver became agitated and uncooperative. The officer attempted to take the driver into custody, but he resisted, and a struggle ensued,” the statement said. “After several minutes struggling with the driver, the officer utilized his taser and, with the help of a witness, placed him into handcuffs.”

According to police, the officer then realized that Hollman had become “unresponsive” so he called emergency medical services to the scene. Hollman was then taken to Grady Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The officer, who was later identified as Officer Kiran Kimbrough, was initially placed on administrative leave amid an internal investigation. The APD announced on Oct. 10 that Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum “terminated Officer Kimbrough for failing to follow the department’s standard operating procedures” during Hollman’s arrest by failing to call a supervisor to the scene before the arrest and for failing to sign the traffic citation.

ABC News’ attempts to reach out directly to Kimbrough were unsuccessful.

Following the officer’s termination, Kimbrough’s attorney Lance LoRusso told the Associated Press in a statement that Kimbrough “vehemently denies any wrongdoing or policy violations” and plans to appeal.

ABC news has reached out to LoRusso for further comment.

‘Whatever happened, they killed my dad’: Daughter on father’s deadly police encounter
According to APD, the department has reevaluated its standard of operations regarding traffic citations since Hollman’s death and changed its policy to allow officers to write “refusal to sign” on tickets, rather than make an arrest.

According to the APD, officers found a handgun and nine baggies of marijuana in Hollman’s vehicle after his death. ABC News reached out to the police department to confirm whether the handgun was legal or not, but APD did not immediately respond.

“Every single person and life in the City of Atlanta matters to me,” Schierbaum said in a statement on Oct. 10. “I understand the difficult and dangerous job that our officers do each and every day throughout the city. I do not arrive at these decisions lightly. Only after a diligent review of all of the facts, while ensuring the due process of our officers, do I arrive at my decision.”

Davis called for the release of the body camera footage ahead of protests in Atlanta following Hollman’s death.

He told ABC News in an August interview that he hopes the release of the footage will allow the family to “have answers.”

“This was a simple traffic accident,” Davis said at the time. “You should be able to go home after a traffic accident, you should not die out in an Atlanta street because you’re in a collision, and police are too aggressive.”

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